Start from the end.
From the kitchen window of his home near Brainerd on Tuesday, Bill Marcelle watched a pair of jays and a blue jay peck at a piece of hardened deer fat and tallow that he had placed on one of five bird feeders in his backyard.
The gardener was a byproduct of a deer, a goat, that he threw on October 29th. Marcel, a wildlife photographer, had other game scraps in his freezer, including steaks, roasts and chops he carved from the animal’s bones. and the trimmings he crumbled into the hamburger.
The animal’s skull and horns were also nearby, which he would fashion into a wall in memory, not of himself or his bow or arrow or arrow, but of the animal and its memory.
Meanwhile, the deer skin was donated to a conservation group to benefit the deer habitat.
“I try not to let any part of the animal go to waste,” he said.
On the day Marcel shot the otter, Sunday, he had arrived home at noon from Camp Ripley, near Little Falls, N.C., where the Department of Natural Resources hosts a three-day archery hunt each year.
Years ago, the hunt was one of the premier events of its kind nationally. But for Marcel and his friends, this year was another bust. Few deer were seen and none killed, certainly nothing like the 240-pound buck Marcel shot at the military compound in 1998 or the 218-pounder he took there in 2003.
So as he headed home from Ripley, where he’s bowhunted for 54 years, Marcelle worried the last few days. Still, he was hoping to see a mature goat, meaning at least 2 years old and preferably older, from the bow on his 70-acre property that evening, on the tip of whitetails.
Marcel had decided days ago which of the many bowstrings sprinkled around his property he would sit on. Atop an ash tree near a clover food plot he had tended during last summer’s drought, a stand would have put him 17 feet above the ground, an ideal perch if for nothing else to watch the sunset.
Arriving home and on the way to the stand, Marcel was excited by two fresh scratches he found, as well as an aggressive grouse on a nearby tree. The “licking branch” scratches over the head were 3 feet wide and revealed the tracks of a large deer. The smear was long and ripped on a 4 inch diameter aspen.
“I’ve seen big bucks make small smears, but never small bucks make big smears,” Marcelle said. “To catch any bucks that might see the scratches again and rub, I set up a camera looking at them.”
Fifty yards beyond the cracks, under Marcel’s ash tree, was another scratch, this one fake. Bucks can sometimes be tricked by imitation scratches into stopping to look, and to do this, Marshall scratched the ground with a stick until it looked like the real thing.
“For me, a dream bowhunting season would be one where I could hunt all fall, enjoy my time on the stand, and then kill a good buck on Dec. 31,” Marcel said. “But since the deer population in my area is low, I mostly watch deer and sometimes small bucks every fall. I can sit through entire seasons without withdrawal. It’s not ideal. Then again I can watch the geese migrate overhead. , and foxes, coyotes, fishers and minks roam the countryside, worth the price of a hunting license.”
Settling into his stand, Marcel fastened his seat belt to the ash tree and hung the growl from a nail sticking out of it. Almost always nothing happens in these first few minutes of a deer hunt. But just then, Marshall saw his fawn, perhaps 3 years old, approach the two scrapes he had just visited.
Dragging its right front hoof over the scratches, the buck alternately clenched its antlers and forehead glands to hit the licking branch from above, while pinching the branch against its pre-orbital glands, or glands under the eyes. Cloaked in mystery, these scent marks allow deer to communicate with each other and possibly signal their intentions.
This deer, of course, could not have known that his picture was taken by Marcel’s trail camera.
“I needed the buck to get to 25 yards so I could get a shot that I was comfortable with,” says Marcelle. :
Shooting almost directly over the head, Marcel knew his kill zone would be small. His arrow had to miss the animal’s spine while only avoiding grazing its rib, wounding it.
Douch came closer. As he did, Marcel reached for his snarling bell, thinking he might need it if the animal strayed in another direction. Instead, Marshall refused the call and slammed it noisily into the footrest of the stands.
“Surprisingly, the buck didn’t care,” Marcel said. “He was only thinking about finding a deer.”
Finally, Marcel drew back, and when the buck was almost directly under his stand, he fired his arrow, almost at the same time watching the buck spin into the forest air.
End at the beginning.
The other day, watching two fawns and a blue jay pierce a deer’s shank and blubber, in his mind’s eye Marcel could still see his arrow entering the 180-pound buck’s back, where it pierced his lung and sliced through his heart. with two
Now the deer were also nibbling on the drumstick, joining the fawns and the bluebirds, and the pileated and spiny woodpeckers came too.
The birds, Marcel thought, would survive the coming winter, as would he, with a refrigerator full of venison.
“I try not to let any part of the deer go to waste,” he said.
#Ultimately #buck #stops #arrow #flew
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